Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the important Current Affairs of 24th and 25th April, 2016. These are very important for the upcoming SBI Clerk and NABARD Assistant Manager 2016 Exams.
India's first small finance bank launched
- Capital Small Finance Bank, India's first small finance bank, was launched here on Sunday. It opened 10 new branches on its inaugural day.
- The Jalandhar-headquartered bank had been operating as Capital Local Area Bank since January 2000 with 47 branches in five districts of Punjab.
- It is among the 10 entities that were given the in-principle approval by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to set up small finance banks.
- While inaugurating the bank, Nirmal Chand, regional director of RBI, Chandigarh, said it was a historic day for the banking sector in India as it would be reckoned as a day when small finance banks were introduced into the banking system.
Nabard lends Rs 1,000 crore to HSWC for wheat procurement
- National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) has sanctioned a loan of Rs 1,000 crore to Haryana State Warehousing Corporation (HSWC) for purchase of wheat during the ongoing rabi marketing season.
- "The (Rs 1,000 crore) loan is going to help the corporation for payment of wheat purchased from farmers in various mandis/outlets in Haryana, in line with the government's resolve to pay the farmers' dues at the earliest," Nabard said in a release issued here.
- The objective of foodgrain procurement by the government agencies is to ensure that farmers get remunerative price for their produce and do not have to resort to distress sale and build buffer stocks, it said.
FinMin approves 8.7% interest on EPF for 2015-16: Labour Ministry
- The Finance Ministry has approved 8.7% interest on PF deposits for over 5 crore subscribers of retirement body EPFO, lower than 8.8% decided by the Central Board of Trustees (CBT).
- "The (EPFO's apex decision-making body) CBT, at its meeting held in February 2016, has proposed an interim rate of interest at 8.8% to be credited to the accounts of Employees' Provident Fund subscribers for 2015-16. The Ministry of Finance has, however, ratified an interest rate of 8.7%," Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha today.
- This is probably the first time that the Finance Ministry has not given concurrence to the rate of interest on EPF as decided by CBT, which is headed by the labour minister.
- EPFO had provided 8.75% rate of interest in 2013-14 and 2014-15, which was higher than 8.5% in 2012-13 and 8.25% in 2011-12.
- EPFO's estimates, which were worked out in September, projected that the body can easily pay 8.95% rate of interest as it would leave a surplus of Rs 100 crore.
- The EPFO pays rate of return to its subscribers on the basis of returns it generates from its investments.
Cadbury inaugurates largest Asia-Pacific facility in India
- Cadbury India, part of Mondelez International, today inaugurated its $190 million factory in Sri City SEZ, on the border of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
- The plant, which was inaugurated by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, is the company’s largest plant in Asia Pacific.
- The plant will start with making Dairy Milk chocolates will have an initial capacity of about 60,000 tonnes a year, which will be increased to 250,000 tonnes by 2020.
- The facility is spread over 134 acres of leased land; the plant will be developed in four phases and is scheduled for final completion by 2020. The new facility is a multi-category food campus and will create around 1,600 jobs.
Union Government constituted panel to double farmers’ income by 2022
- Union government on 22 April 2016 constituted the inter-ministerial panel to prepare a blueprint for doubling farmers' income by 2022.
- The government's decision to set up the panel follows the budget announcement that set a target of doubling farm incomes by 2022.
- The panel will be headed by Ashok Dalwai, Additional Secretary at the Union Agriculture Ministry. The other members will be officials from Agriculture and Food Ministries as well as experts from the Delhi-based National Council of Applied Economic Research and National Institute of Agricultural Economics and Policy Research.
Salient Features of the inter-ministerial panel
- The panel will prepare a plan to shift farm policies from being production-oriented to income based ones.
- The eight-member panel will determine the potential areas of agriculture to investment and also suggests different ways to reduce the risk of farming by diversifying to horticulture and allied activities like livestock and fisheries to boost income.
Railways expands "Vikalp" scheme for wait-listed passengers to 5 new routes
- Indian Railways has decided to launch the Alternative Train Accommodation scheme for wait-listed passengers on five new and busy routes on its network.
- Under the scheme, wait-listed passengers are allowed to get confirmed seats on the next alternative train if they choose that option while booking tickets online. The scheme, launched on a pilot basis in November last year, is currently applicable on the Delhi-Lucknow and Delhi-Jammu routes.
- The five new routes include Delhi-Howrah, Delhi-Mumbai, Delhi-Chennai, Delhi-Bangalore and Delhi-Secundarabad. "The Vikalp (Alternative Train Accommodation System) scheme introduced in October 2015 will be expanded to provide choice of accommodation in specific trains to wait-listed passengers," Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu had said in his speech for 2016-17 budget.
- As per the latest decision, the expanded scheme would provide the option of alternative accommodation irrespective of whether the boarding and destination stations of the passenger are originating and terminating stations on the route.
Andhra Pradesh CM inaugurated interim Secretariat complex in Amaravati
- Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on 25 April 2016 formally inaugurated the state's interim government complex named AP Government Transitional Headquarters at Velagapudi village in capital region Amaravati.
- The government is determined to begin operations from Amaravati region from 15 June 2016. The construction of the government complex has been going on at a brisk pace to meet the deadline.
- A 2000 square feet office space was hurriedly readied for use by the state government and Chief Minister occupied his office to mark the inauguration. He signed a file relating to waiver of loan for horticulture farmers on the occasion.
India Pride Project (IPP): An Initiative to bring back India's lost artefacts
- The term India Pride Project (IPP) was in news in the fourth week of April 2016. It is an initiative by two NRIs who seek to bring back the lost artefacts to India.
- Through the initiative, they seek to answer that India was looted of more artefacts in the post-colonial era than under the British or Mughals.
- The India Pride Project is a small, but brave attempt to bring this loot back into the places where they belong in India. In simple terms India Pride Project’s mission is to restore the Nation’s pride through restoring its culture.
- Vijay Kumar: Co-founder of IPP, is an art enthusiast himself and is the general manager of a shipping company.
- Anurag Saxena: He is another co-founder, a chartered accountant and Asia-Pacific CEO for the World Education Foundation, UK.
Satish Mathur appointed as Maha ACB chief
- Senior IPS officer Satish Mathur has been appointed as the new Director General of the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) of Maharashtra, a police official said here today.
- The post was earlier held by Vijay Kamble, an IPS officer of 1980 batch, who was posted in October last year.
- Mathur, who is a 1981 batch IPS officer, is the senior-most serving DG-rank officer.
- Mathur, who served as the Pune Police Commissioner, was last year promoted to the rank of Director General of Police (DGP), the police official said.
Former Finance Minister Clement Mouamba appointed as Prime Minister of Congo
- Mouamba Clement, the former Congolese Finance Minister, was on 24 April 2016 appointed as the Prime Minister of Congo. He was appointed to the post by Congo's President Denis Sassou Nguesso.
- Clement will be responsible for forming a government in consultation with the president in accordance with the 25 October 2015 constitution.
- Also, his major task after being appointed as Prime Minister would be to help in creating jobs for the youth, a majority of whom are struggling with under unemployment.
Awards & Honors –
Radhika Apte won best actress award for 'Madly' at Tribeca Film Fest 2016
- Bollywood actress Radhika Apte on 22 April 2016 bagged the best actress in an international narrative feature honour at Tribeca Film Festival 2016 for her performance in anthology film Madly.
- Radhika starred in Clean Shaven, which is a segment of Madly.
List of other Tribeca Film Festival 2016 Award Winners
- The Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature – Dean, written and directed by Demteri Martin.
- Best Actor in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film –Dominic Rains in The Fixer.
- Best Actress in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film – Mackenzie Davis in Always Shine.
- Best Cinematography in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film – Cinematography by Michael Ragen for Kicks.
- Best Screenplay in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film – Women Who Kill written by Ingrid Jungermann.
World Book and Copyright Day 2016 observed across the world
- The World Book and Copyright Day was celebrated on 23 April 2016 across the world. The events on this day are organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), to promote reading, publishing and copyright.
- The day was first celebrated on 23 April 1995.
World Book Capital 2016: Wroclaw, Poland
- Every year, UNESCO and the international organizations representing the three major sectors of the book industry - publishers, booksellers and libraries, select the World Book Capital for a one-year period, effective 23 April each year.
World Malaria Day 2016 observed with theme End Malaria For Good
- World Malaria Day (WMD) 2016 was observed globally on 25 April 2016. The theme for 2016 is End Malaria For Good.
- This year’s theme reflects the vision of a malaria-free world set out in the Global technical strategy for malaria 2016-2030. Adopted in May 2015 by the World Health Assembly, the strategy aims to dramatically lower the global malaria burden over the next 15 years.
Its goals are:
- Reducing the rate of new malaria cases by at least 90%
- Reducing malaria death rates by at least 90%
- Eliminating malaria in at least 35 countries
World Immunization Week 2016 organised with campaign Close the immunization gap
- World Immunization Week 2016 is being organised across the globe between 24 April and 30 April 2016. The week’s campaign is ‘Close the Immunization Gap’ and it seeks to achieve global vaccination targets by 2020.
- This will be the second year of the Close the Immunization Gap campaign. The 2016 campaign additionally stresses the need for immunization among adolescents and adults - throughout life.
- It also seeks to draw the world’s attention to the critical importance of reaching vulnerable people living in conflict situations or in the wake of emergencies.
US approves billion-dollar arms deal with Australia
- The US government on Monday approved a deal for US firms to sell its close ally Australia $1.22 billion in air-to-air missiles and support equipment.
- The main contractor for the major shipment will be Arizona-based arms giant Raytheon, which produces the AIM-120D medium-range missile.
- Up to 450 of the weapons will arm the Royal Australian Air Force's (RAAF) FA-18 Hornet and F-35 Lightning fighters and the EA-18G Growler electronic warfare jet.
Full Pink Moon seen across the skies of North America
- The Full Pink Moon was seen on 22 April 2016 in the skies of North America. However, the moon appeared normally white and smaller than usual. The April’s full moon is usually referred as Pink Moon in North America.
- The moon appeared to be smaller than usual because it was at its furthest point from the Earth, or apogee. This full moon comes less than one day after reaching lunar apogee, the moon’s farthest point in its monthly orbit. It lies around 50 thousand km farther from Earth than 2016’s closest full moon.
- The Pink Moon is also called as mini-moon and micro-moon. The terms mini-moon and micro-moon originate from popular culture. The NASA Astronomy Photo of the Day calls the year’s smallest full moon as a micro-moon. In many respects, the micro-moon is the antithesis of a Supermoon.
International Solar Alliance Cell and UNDP declared Cooperation for Promoting Solar Energy
- The Interim Administrative Cell of International Solar Alliance (ISA Cell) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on 22 April 2016 declared their intention to promote solar energy globally.
- The declaration was made on the occasion of the side event on International Solar Alliance at the UN Headquarters in New York.
Major areas identified for working jointly are:
- Development of synergies with ongoing UNDP programmes and projects on solar energy in and across ISA member countries.
- Creation of complementary linkages with ongoing global and regional efforts in the field of solar energy.
Wrestler Sandeep Tomar qualified for Rio Olympics in 57-kg freestyle category
- Wrestler Sandeep Tomar on 24 April 2016 secured an Olympic quota place for India in the men's 57kg freestyle category with a bronze medal finish on the final day of the 1st World Olympic qualifying tournament at Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
- He secured his berth for Rio Olympics by winning the playoff bout after having clinched the bronze medal. Only the top three finishers in each weight category are eligible for an Olympic berth in this tournament.
- With this, the 25-year-old Sandeep became the fourth Indian wrestler after Yogeshwar Dutt (men's 65kg freestyle), Narsingh Yadav (men's 74kg freestyle), and Hardeep Singh (Greco-Roman 98kg) to book a berth for the Rio Games.
Rafael Nadal won Barcelona Open Men's singles title
- Rafael Nadal on 24 April 2016 defeated two-time defending champion Kei Nishikori of Japan to win the Barcelona Open of tennis 6-4, 7-5.
- This was Nadal's 9th Barcelona Open title, and he has now won his opening 10 matches of the European clay-court season.
- With this win, world number five and top seed Spaniard also equaled Guillermo Vilas' decades old record of 49 clay-court titles. Argentine Guillermo Vilas had bagged 49 clay-court titles in 1970s and early 1980s.
- Nadal may break that record as he will play in Madrid and Rome in May 2016 before the French Open, the second Grand Slam of the season, which ends the clay-court season. Nine of Nadal's 14 Grand Slams have been at Roland Garros.
Bryan Brothers won Barcelona Open Men's Doubles title
- Bob and Mike Bryan on 24 April 2016 won the Barcelona Open doubles tennis title. The brothers claimed the title after defeating Uruguay's Pablo Cuevas and the Spaniard Marcel Granollers 7-5, 7-5 in one hour and 25 minutes.
- The title is the Bryan brothers' second title in 2016, after they won the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships in Houston, Texas earlier in 2016. The victory is their third in Barcelona, as they won the tournament before in 2003 and 2008.
Garcia-Mladenovic defeated Sania-Hingis to win Stuttgart Grand Prix tournament in Germany
- French pair of Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic on 24 April 2016 won women’s doubles final of the Stuttgart Grand Prix tournament.
- In the final held at Stuttgart in Germany, the French duo defeated the Indo-Swiss pair of top seeded pair of Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis 6-2, 1-6, 6-10.
- On the other hand, the women’s singles title was won by Angelique Kerber of Germany. In the final clash, the reigning Australian Open champion Kerber defeated her countrywoman Laura Siegemund 6-4, 6-0.
Russia defeated China to win gold at World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship
- Russian pair Anastasia Bryzgalova and Alexander Krushelnitskiy on 23 April 2016 claimed the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship title with a 7-5 victory over China at Karlstad, Sweden.
- China's Wang Rui and Ba Dexin took the silver. The United States, with a 9-7 win over Scotland, secured the bronze medal.
- The combined results of the 2016 and 2017 world mixed doubles events will decide the seven teams who will join host South Korea at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.